Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Birthday Party

My birthday was a month and a half ago. So much has happened between now and then, that I haven't had a chance to post about what we did to celebrate. I guess there's no time like the present, right?!

It may seem weird to some, but for my birthday, I chose to invite 2 other couples over for a Blind Wine Tasting dinner and made all the food myself. Cooking is one of my passions - as is planning, creating, and hosting a party - so this type of thing is exactly what I wanted to do for my birthday. Total FUN for me!! 

Each couple brought 2 bottles of wine of a certain varietal. One inexpensive. One expensive. When they got here, I took off the foil caps and covered the labels with numbered stickers. As we ate our courses, we drank the wines in order. Champagne (1&2), Chardonnay (3&4), and Cabernet Sauvignon (5&6) and "graded" them on scale of 1-100 ala Wine Spectator. In the end, we tried to guess which wine was which. Did more expensive really equal better taste? Were our palates as sophisticated as we'd like to think?

It was great fun. And as it turned out, for the seven of us, expensive champagne is not worth the money. But expensive Cab is! Here are some pics of the night.

We started outside, as the sun set,
at our patio table with appetizers and Champagne, enjoyed Italian style out of mason jars.

Appetizers were....
Lemon Tarragon Dip with blanched asparagus and chilled artichokes

Instead of the American cheese in the recipe, I substituted Smoked Gruyere from TJ's. It was SO good!

Pimento Cheese dip with tortilla chips

Everyone was given score cards to keep track of their tasting notes.
I got them from Design365 on Etsy.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but I also had custom wine charms made for everyone. Look real close at the base of the turquoise wine glass. My friend Heather, hand stamped everyone's first name on a charm for me. They were so cute and doubled as party favors!

Second course, accompanied by the Chardonnays, was an Heirloom Tomato salad with bacon, basil and blue cheese. So YUM!

For the main course, we moved inside. I set the table with all my favorites - burlap, turquoise mason jars, wine corks, doilies, candle light, fresh flowers (some from my garden!) and yarn pom poms. 

Megan, Molly and I had made a bunch of the yarn pom poms because I had visions of THIS above the outdoor table. But we ran out of time to get enough of them done...so I just sprinkled the ones we had finished around the table, and used a few others as napkin rings. I love the POP of color they added!
(someday I'll finish that garland!)

Dessert was Salted Caramel Cheesecakes in Mason Jars. 
Holy yummy cuteness!!

Want to know the funniest part of the whole night?!
I didn't get a SINGLE picture of myself. 
But here's all my fab friends. 

It really was a perfect night. Good food, good wine, and good friends are exactly what I want EVERY birthday, forever. And maybe ONE picture of myself...for posterity's sake!


Nancy said...

oh my goodness. amazing. beautiful and just gorgeous. those beef/brie burgers sound amazing...even at 5:58 am. Love the painted windows outside. darling. :)

Lindsay - Paint Me A Picture said...

Eeek! This looks awesome.
AND we have the same birthday.
I should have been invited you yours (wink)

Jessica Johnson said...

all looks delish! and i love the mason jar theme throughout. very cute!

Ashley said...

OH MY WORD ERIN!!!! That is the most incredible dinner party I have ever seen! Girlfriend you have got some serious entertaining talent :) Wish we lived closer... I'd have you cook for me every day :)
Hope you're having a great Monday!

Heather | Cookie Mondays said...

perfection. i think i'm gonna start planning my own parties... unless you move up here and start doing it for me.

Polka Dot Moon said...

I think you are a born party planner! Lovely!

And....I'm drooling over the desert in a jar! YUM!

carlisle clan conversation... said...

beautiful party for a beautiful girl. happy day sweet girl!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Love, love, love this party!! Too bad you dont live closer, because then you guys could be in our wine tasting group. We brown bag it 4 times a year....so fun!

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